In Defence of Desertion: It's Perfectly Legal
When the next president takes the oath of office on January 20, 2009, the very first thing that he or she needs to do - even before delivering the inaugural address - is to sign an executive order granting a "full and unconditional pardon" to any and all service men and women whose consciences would not allow them to take to take part in the obscenity that is now being committed against the people of Iraq by the Bush administration. That is the only reasonable and humane thing to do. Deserting the military during a period where one's own country is a willing partner in what can only be described as genocide is not only justified and highly commendable, it is also legally defensible. In the aftermath of World War Two, a lot of German and Japanese military personnel were severely punished for horrific crimes against humanity. But of the thousands of atrocities cited during the Nuremberg trials of 1946/47, desertion wasn't among them - a little tidbit of information you might want to take note of.
And while we're on the subject of desertion, let us not forget this embarrassing little fact: Our esteemed commander-in-chief, the First Fool, George W. Bush, went AWOL from the Alabama Air National Guard in 1972. He'd have gone to Leavenworth but for the machinations of his father who at the time was the well-connected chairman of the Republican National Committee
The unpleasant fact of the matter is this: these kids were lied to. They were led to believe that Saddam Hussein was directly responsible for the carnage of September 11, 2001. When it became obvious to every thinking person on the planet that the only reason for invading Iraq in the first place was so that a handful of GOP-connected profiteers could seize the second largest oil reserves on the planet, what moral option remains for a person of conscience but desertion? Ask yourself this question: Knowing what you know now, would you have had a part in this? Would you have willingly enlisted in the military knowing that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were going to invade a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11, based on false and misleading intelligence? I didn't think so.
Generals have the option of resigning in cases where the aspirations of the civilian leaders are at odds with their own personal moral compass - and more than a few of them have done just that. A regular GI does not have that luxury. It is part of the military code of conduct that soldiers in the field, whether they be buck privates or five star generals, must not - under any circumstances - engage in violations of international law. That the invasion of Iraq was indeed such a violation can now only be argued by the irrational - the president and vice-president of the United States, for instance.
It has been said in these pages more times than can be easily counted that this war is over - get used to the idea. There was never even a chance of winning it - none. The so-called "Iraq Study Group" has basically come to the same conclusion. Without coming right out and saying it, the implications are as clear as day and cannot be missed. When your doctor tells you that your condition is "grave and deteriorating", it's generally a pretty good idea not to make a down payment on next summer's vacation house. Green bananas are not recommended either.
For the second time in a generation, a half-witted Texan (Just what is it about Texas?) has forced American children into an untenable slaughterhouse. But, unlike the fiasco in south east Asia forty years ago, Iraq was doomed from the start. Don't forget that the Viet Nam conflict only gradually evolved, over a period of years, into a quagmire. With respect to Iraq, we stupidly dove head-first and smiling into a quagmire. As if that wasn't bad enough, this time 'round we're in the process of losing two wars simultaneously! I think the time is ripe for an "Afghanistan Study Group". In the midst of all of the attention that Bush's Iraq catastrophe has received, we've lost sight of the nasty little fact that that conflict is all-but-over as well.
Who was it that said that a people ignorant of their own history are condemned to repeat it?
It is estimated that more than eight-thousand people have fled the military in the almost four years since the Bush Mob committed the worst strategic blunder in American history when they signed off on the invasion of a sovereign nation that was a danger to no one but itself. Anyone who deserted during "Operation Iraqi Freedom" - excuse me while I vomit - were totally within their rights - both morally and legally; that is to say, desertion is in total compliance with international and domestic law. It is the duty of every good American to not only assist them in their flight but to urge them to do so. Should the situation present itself, any and all of them can expect help from me. Count on it. Get out while the getting's good, kids.
Let me say this for the record: I've been doing a lot of praying lately but you've got to understand that I am not praying for a victory for the United States in Iraq; I'm praying for God's will. Bring our men and women home. Now.